Monday, November 15, 2021

Harvest Monday - 15 November 2021

People sometimes ask me if I do anything to extend the growing season...greenhouses, coldframes etc. The answer is I don't, even though I certainly could. I just reach a point where I'm done for the year, you know? That point was this past week. Everything harvestable was taken, and the gardens are closed for the season.

Leeks didn't do as well as last year, but what we got is still very welcome.

Megaton leeks

I planted a few Red Russian kale this summer, and got a nice harvest from them.

Red Russian kale

This curly kale was not intentionally planted, but came in the mesclun mix I grew in the spring. The kale remained long after the other greens were taken, and gave me a large harvest.

Curly kale

The last collard was cut and had its leaves stripped.

Top Bunch 2.0 collard greens

The Kitchen Goddess stemmed and cut all the above, which netted five 1-gallon freezer bags full. That should last awhile!

I took all the accumulated ripe tomatoes we had indoors, and made one final batch of sauce, yielding a very full quart freezer bag.

Tomato sauce

So that's a wrap for another year. Like every year, there were great successes and dismal failures. It changes year to year. For example, no-brainer crops like zucchini and cucumbers were awful--too much insect pressure. But onions and eggplants did fabulously, unlike last year. Tomatoes and peppers stayed consistently successful. We are thankful for everything we get, and don't let the failures get us down for too long. I hope you got joy from your gardens, too.

I want to thank you for reading and commenting on my blog posts this year. And especially, a huge thank you to Dave at for giving us all a forum to link to, and for his special gardening wisdom. Have a nice winter, and see you in the spring!

Monday, November 8, 2021

Harvest Monday - 8 November 2021

We've had frosts every night this week. The days have been sunny but not especially warm. All the heat-loving crops are long gone, of course, but there are still some harvests to report.

I planted some Chinese cabbage this summer. They did not get big, but still are useful. They probably would have been okay in the coming days, but I took them anyway.

Minuet cabbage

Ditto the broccoli. The plants have been giving us loads of side-shoots all season, but they were looking kind of ragged, so I removed them.

Blue Wind broccoli side-shoots

One of the spring-planted fennel re-grew after I cut it. It's nice to have a second harvest, even though it's small. Also shown are the last beets, or so I thought.

Orazio fennel second growth and beets

I decided to take out all the Swiss chard (silverbeet), and found a few more beets (beetroot) hiding therein. I know there are some who do not like chard (looking at you Dave!), but I have ever since I was a kid. When it's been left alone by the leaf miners, I find the glossy savoyed leaves quite attractive and the stems are brilliant.

Swiss chard and beets

I tried growing celery here for the first time this year. Only two of the plants survived rodent predation, and they struggled being crowded out by the bush beans and collards. But I got a little harvest anyway.

Ventura celery

We love cilantro (coriander leaf), but I struggle to grow it, as it wants to bolt so quickly. I thus over-plant it. The result is more than we can use. The aromatic compounds that give it its character are very volatile, and don't preserve well. The Kitchen Goddess pureed most of this with a little olive oil and froze it. Some we gave away, and I dug up one plant to try growing indoors.


I've been regrowing turmeric from the same root I got years ago, and also tried ginger for the first time. It was not a great year for them, especially considering I'll want to replant some of both. But once these are dried and brushed off we should get something useful.

Turmeric and ginger

It actually is supposed to warm up a bit this coming week. There are still a few things to harvest, but I'm expecting the next post to be the last for the season. Thanks for reading, and thanks once again to Dave at for hosting this forum.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Harvest Monday - 1 November 2021

Our first true frost greeted me on Friday morning, where the temperature was just below freezing. This was actually not forecast in my area. But somehow I had a premonition on Thursday, and picked all the remaining tomatoes and peppers.

First the tomatoes. I took all that I deemed had a chance of ripening indoors. Not that we really need them, but I hate to leave things unharvested.

Last tomato harvest

Then the sweet peppers. These were chopped and put in the freezer without blanching. We've found they keep very well, and are very useful.

Last sweet pepper harvest

Then a mess of hot peppers, including jalapeno, cayenne, Hot Lemon, and Sugar Rush Cream.

Last hot pepper harvest

I cut up all of them and made a hot sauce. I included all the garlic scapes we had in the fridge since June, still pretty good. Since it was a mess of peppers, I called it "Hot Mess Sauce." It certainly exceeded my expectations...a dozen five ounce "Woozy" bottles (how they got that name I have no idea). Here they are along with the other sauces I made this year. This is way more than we can use, so we will fob some off on unsuspecting victims friends and relatives.

Unfermented hot sauces

This year The Kitchen Goddess bought a bunch of sweet potato slips and planted them in the community garden as usual. But there was one she rejected as being too weak looking. It sat around in the barn, forlorn and unloved, for a couple of weeks. Finally I thought "why not?" and planted it in the home garden. I was surprised at the result when I dug it up this week. Not much, but I'm proud of it! First time growing them at home.

Georgia Jet sweet potatoes

I cut two of the remaining stalks of collards and stripped off the greens. Yes, they are kind of hole-y, but it doesn't matter to us after they've been cut up.

Top Bunch 2.0 collards

There were more nice raspberry harvests this week.

Fall raspberries

Sue Martin, a regular contributor to Harvest Monday with her delightful blog, asked me last week what we do with all these raspberries. Most of them go into the freezer for use in smoothies. But TKG also makes a very tasty (and potent) raspberry liqueur. It's basically a tincture, with cheap red wine, cheap bourbon, and cheap Marsala (emphasis on cheap). Also the zest of a lemon. Here's what it looks like when it's soaking in a quart jar.

Raspberry liqueur in the making

Finally, I took a trip to the cellar and brought up the last of the spaghetti squash. It's amazing to me that it has held up this nicely for a full year. One went into a putanesca using some of the sauce I also brought up, 2020's as well.

Squash and tomato sauce from the stores

More frosts are on the way, so only a few more posts will follow. Stop that cheering! Thanks for reading, and thanks again to the amazing Dave at for hosting Harvest Monday.